NBA Draft 2020: Latest Mock Draft and Teams with Most to Lose on Draft NightMay 22, 2020
Two draft lotteries exist during the NBA offseason.
One is the actual draft lottery, during which the 14-team order to lead off the first round is selected.
The other is the draft itself, where teams picking at or near the top of the board hope to find franchise players as opposed to prospects who fade away after a few years.
The margin of error is slim, and one false move could cost front-office executives and coaches their jobs.
It's a dangerous game, and some teams are more compelled than others to get it right in some years more than others.
That's the case this season, as a few lottery-bound franchises are in a position where they can either alter the course of their future or send them down a path of more losing campaigns.
Here's a look at three teams with the most to lose on draft night alongside a mock draft.
The order is based off the league's current win-loss records in reverse.
2020 NBA Mock Draft
1. Golden State Warriors: James Wiseman, C, Memphis
2. Cleveland Cavaliers: Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC
3. Minnesota Timberwolves: Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia
4. Atlanta Hawks: Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv
5. Detroit Pistons: LaMelo Ball, PG/SG, Illawarra Hawks
6. New York Knicks: Cole Anthony, PG, UNC
7. Chicago Bulls: Isaac Okoro, SF, Auburn
8. Charlotte Hornets: Obi Toppin, PF, Dayton
9. Washington Wizards: Killian Hayes, PG, Ratiopharm Ulm
10. Phoenix Suns: Devin Vassell, SF, Florida State
11. San Antonio Spurs: Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky
12. Sacramento Kings: RJ Hampton, SG, New Zealand Breakers
13. New Orleans Pelicans: Patrick Williams, SF, Florida State
14. Portland Trail Blazers: Aaron Nesmith, SF, Vanderbilt
15. Orlando Magic: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (via Brooklyn Nets): Precious Achiuwa, PF/C, Memphis
17. Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies): Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
18. Dallas Mavericks: Leandro Bolmaro, SG/SF, Barcelona
19. Milwaukee Bucks (via Indiana Pacers): Theo Maledon, PG, ASVEL
20. Brooklyn Nets (via Philadelphia 76ers): Saddiq Bey, SF/PF, Villanova
21. Denver Nuggets (via Houston Rockets): Jahmi'us Ramsey, SG, Texas Tech
22. Philadelphia 76ers (via Oklahoma City Thunder): Josh Green, SG/SF, Arizona
23. Miami Heat: Nico Mannion, PG, Arizona
24. Utah Jazz: Grant Riller, PG, Charleston
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Denver Nuggets): Aleksej Pokusevski, PF/C, Olympiacos
26. Boston Celtics: Isaiah Stewart, PF/C, Washington
27. New York Knicks (via Los Angeles Clippers): Tyrell Terry, PG, Stanford
28. Toronto Raptors: Vernon Carey, PF/C, Duke
29. Los Angeles Lakers: Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington
30. Boston Celtics (via Milwaukee Bucks): Daniel Oturu, C, Minnesota
Teams With Most To Lose
The Cleveland Cavaliers have no long-term starting frontcourt solutions on their roster.
Kevin Love signed a long-term extension through 2022-23 but has repeatedly been the subject of trade rumors. Of note, Cleveland.com's Chris Fedor reported in April that the Cavs want a "combination of picks and players" in return for the 31-year-old.
Elsewhere, center Andre Drummond can decline his 2020-21 player option and become a free agent. Larry Nance Jr. is in town through 2021-22, but the big man has largely come off the bench during his five-year career. Tristan Thompson will also be a free agent this offseason.
The Cavs will try to make a backcourt of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland—their top lottery picks each of the last two years—work well enough to pilot them into a new era. That leaves the team searching for solutions in the post.
Cleveland has a host of forwards and centers to choose from, and the team has to get this one right to take the next step toward playoff contention next year as opposed to sitting near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.
Options include true bigs like Memphis' James Wiseman or USC's Onyeka Okongwu or a power forward like Dayton's Obi Toppin.
The Timberwolves are attempting to make a partnership between guard D'Angelo Russell and center Karl-Anthony Towns work after swinging a blockbuster trade with the Golden State Warriors for Russell's services.
Those two leaders could use a wingman to help steer the team back into the playoffs, however. They don't have a third wheel at the moment, with the team's roster consisting of a bunch of mismatched parts after general manager Gersson Rosas went wheeling and dealing amid a multi-year rebuild.
But the Wolves are going to get a high draft pick regardless of how the lottery turns out. They need to nail the selection and set the franchise on the right direction, with Towns and Russell attempting to turn around a franchise that has made the playoffs just once since the end of the Kevin Garnett era in 2007.
Of note, neither player is known for his defensive prowess, so a high-upside two-way prospect could be of great use. That person could knock down open looks off Russell passes, feed the big man in Towns and provide tough defense on the other end.
Anthony Edwards would seem to fit that bill best, although it's entirely possible he goes before Minnesota picks.
The Detroit Pistons need to find building blocks for their franchise quickly.
Drummond, a long-time Piston, is now a Cavalier. Six-time All-Star Blake Griffin has been limited to just 18 games this year due to injuries, and he could leave after the 2020-21 season by declining a 2021-22 player option.
The Pistons have some young and promising rotation pieces in Luke Kennard and Sekou Doumbouya, but the team needs a potential superstar in the mix. The roster simply doesn't have a core player they can build around.
Detroit has a chance to fix that issue in this year's draft, though.
While this year's NBA class isn't as stacked as others, a few players have perennial All-Star potential, including Edwards, Wiseman, Okongwu and LaMelo Ball.
In sum, the Pistons are best-served picking the player with the most upside possible and hoping he's good enough to become a core piece for the team's future. If not, it's back to the drawing board.